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442 The Jewish Quarterly Review.
origin of the law, and of the proof of all this, the pledge or token of its
truth, the exodus from Egypt, all of -which we find summed up in the
prayer, that begins with 13WN 'n nDSC flDK, continues, according to
the Sephardic ritual with "|0K> N'D cbwo HON and TPnUK mtj?, and
ends with 13]"I?NJ DHVDD JlDN. Thus each of these great religious
truths is solemnly ushered in with a special flDX, a special declaration of
faith, as though the order of the prayers had been arranged to indicate
the special importance of the thoughts in which Jehuda-ha-Levi beheld
the dogmas of Judaism.
I have neither added to nor amplified, but have, on the contrary,
given but an inadequate representation of the pious admiration which
animates our thoughtful author in his explanation of these prayers.
This interpreter of mediaeval Judaism is so laconically sparing of words,
that he seems in his writings to have left us merely the key to his
thoughts, which it then becomes our business to unlock and explain.
The clear introductory words in which Jehuda-ha-Levi sets forth his
list of the dogmas of Judaism have been not exactly misunderstood by
Judah-ibn-Tibbon, but, at any rate, so rendered in his Hebrew transla-
tion (which and not the Arabic original is the text now universally read)
as to lead easily to misunderstanding. The Arabian original runs as
follows' : —
rhinos ri-ppp onn km t6n TNpjfo* "]bn "mi nn
Instead of translating the common word nTpJJ by !"IJ1DN, as was cor-
rectly done by all subsequent translators, Ibn Tibbon, in accordance with
its etymology, kept servilely to the root of the word, and translated it
by lXi>p. The misapprehension of the passage was thus decided. Thus
Cassel, Ed. 2, p. 220, speaks of " bonds " which hold Judaism together, and
even the pupil of Frat. Maimon Jacob b. Chayim, called Vidal Farissol, in
the year 1322 explains the passage in a similar sense. DDH """Wpl "IB>K
mnsn hn annao dh ">bki dhwh nc?p mbw (Cod. Haiberstamm,
274). He had indeed already found the incorrect reading in the words of
Judah-ibn-Tibbon. They ought, according to the old MSS. fragments
of Halberstamm's, to run thus (No. 139), D»"nn*n m ''"Mp \rfpW DM TtJ'K
The belief (1) in God ; (2) in his eternity ; (3) in his providential
guidance of Israel's history ; and (4) in his revelation, are the four
dogmas, in which the most national of all Jewish thinkers recognises the
shortest exposition of Judaism.
What was the Word for "Unhappy" in later Hebrew?
(Baruch ii. 18.)
A certain sentence from the penitential prayer of the exiles, in the
apocryphal Book of Baruch (a prayer, by the way, composed quite in
the later Muzio style), has always been the despair of translators and
commentators. According to the received version of the LXX. text.
1 Ed. Hirschfeld, p. 1C6, lines 6 and 7.
Notes and Discussion. 443
the sentence runs as follows : (ii. 17, 18) "Avotgov 6q>daXpovs o-ov, xai toV,
Srt ovx oi T(6vr)K&res tv t£> qSr) S>v £\Tj<f>di] to irvcvfia iivtuv djro Tun
<nikayx va>v ovr&v, dmirown 86§av, koi dcKaio>/ia to> KvpiG>' aXka t) ifrvxq fj
XvirovfUvt] «rl ro /xiyedos, 6 /Sao'ifei kvktop (tai ao-oVvoui', (tai oi 6(p6dK)io\ oj
(Kkcinovret, Kai r) ^fvxV V neivixra, baxrov&i (roi B6£av, nai diKatoovpr/v, Kvpit.
The context is clear. We know what ought logically to follow in this
verse. It is not the dead, says the author, with evident allusion to Psalm
cxv. 16, who praise the Lord, but the living, who acknowledge and glorify
the divine grace and mercy, even in the midst of trials and temptations.
Similarly in Psalm li. 19, a broken spirit, and a broken and a contrite heart
are described as the sacrifices most pleasing to God. But how are we to
evolve the required logical sequence of ideas from the incomprehensible
Greek text ? It is evident from the first that we have to do with a
mistake of the translator's, who has either misunderstood his original,
or servilely translated an error in the Hebrew text. We must seek,
therefore, to cast a glance at the original, through what we may call a
hole in the outer envelope.
I will not give an exhaustive enumeration of the attempts that have
been made to rectify this passage. It may be taken as a proof of its
difficulty that such an unfortunate conjecture as Fritzsche's, 1 that the
translator had misread TVW for n?1"JJ, could have met with approval.
Hitzig 2 thought he could save the text by the supposition of an original
"IJV ?]! (after Psalm xxxi. 24), so that «Vt to neyedos would translate the
Hebrew "very" or "exceedingly.'' Reusch 3 even goes so far as to
insist upon ["Pun being taken as the misunderstood word of the original
text. Kneucker 4 suggests that 72in should be set up as the mysterious
word. And, to mention the latest remedy which has been applied to the
injured sentence, Graetz 5 has endeavoured to find the solution in an
original n3?, which the translator has turned into !"0"l.
In spite of all these failures, I have found courage to suggest another
solution,' which appears to me so obvious, that my only wonder is that
nobody has done so before. The Greek words Xunovptin) cm to peycOos
imply a Hebrew original, which the translator read as rplU ?y rQXM.
As is so frequently the case (cp. a precisely similar example with the
very same root in the Massoretic text of Proverbs xix. 19), the ~\
in the real original was either indistinctly written, or had already been
miswritten as 1. The author obviously wrote n?"llJ b)3. He mentions
the soul that laments its fate or lot as being the first of those
who glorify God. The translator, servilely following bis text, but
stumbling, as we have seen, at the very threshold, was compelled to
misunderstand the following portion of the verse ri3 "<72 "]1D3 "p* ^N,
and thus to make what is really a new subject — namely, the second class
of the true worshippers of God — refer to to /ie'yftfor.
np3 D'^y and i13NT K'SJ form the last two groups, so that the whole
sentence should be thus translated : " but the soul that is grieved because
of its lot, they who go bowed down and without strength, the eyes that
fail, and the sorrowful spirit give thee glory and justification, O Lord."
1 Kurzgefasstes exegctisches Hanottivch zu den Apohryphen, I., 184.
2 J. J. Kneucker, Bag Bvch Baruch (Leipzig, 1879), p. 243.
3 Ibid., p. 244. 4 Ibid. 5 MonaUsehrift, 1887, p. 390.
444 The Jewish Quarterly Review.
Perhaps the last -words of the verse ran originally IflplSI 11133 -13JV,
for in Judges vii. the LXX. renders DIpIS \$n\ by baxrovvi hiKau><rvvr)v.
On the other hand, Mf^\ is sufficiently justified by Jer. xiii. 16.
This simple explanation appears to me also to secure for us an addition
to the vocabulary of later Hebrew. It is in close harmony with the way
in which the idea of the divine has thoroughly saturated the Hebrew
language that an exact equivalent for the words happy and unhappy is
not to be found in it. Not till a comparatively late period do we find
the words portion and measure used in a metaphorical manner to express
the ideas of fate and destiny. Just as the phrase lp?n3 nOE> was coined
to convey the words "contented and happy," so the phrase ?J7 32?yj
1^113 came into use to signify the contrary state. This, I think, I have
succeeded in proving from the Hebrew original of the book of Baruch.